• THT Gassko: A-Rod’s No Gold Glove

    Posted by on October 24th, 2005 · Comments (7)

    David Gassko over at The Hardball Times has an interesting look at the best and worst with the leather this year.

    According to his findings, Alex Rodriguez stunk with the glove this past season. I wonder how this would look if one were to use first half stats versus second half stats? Earlier this year, I thought A-Rod was a stiff at 3rd – esp. going to his right. But, in the second half of the season, he seemed to be stellar in the field. It was night and day.

    Even more interesting to me are the low ratings in this study for Juan Pierre and Vernon Wells. I thought Wells looked great in CF this year. And, I wished that the Yankees had a chance to get him. Also, we all know that Pierre is on the Yankees radar. If the glove is not there for Juan, then why bother?

    Juse trade Pavano for Nook Logan and then bat him 9th when he gets here.

    The Gator Mater Strikes?

    Posted by on October 23rd, 2005 · Comments (1)

    And I thought that M’sieur le Crocodile’s “Gator Mater Dating Service” went out of business.

    From the Star Ledger:

    Ron Guidry’s attorney yesterday confirmed the Yankees have approached him about becoming pitching coach.

    “There are talks going on, and I think that’s all we really want to say at this point,” Reggie Ringuet said.

    Guidry, the 1978 Cy Young Award-winner while with the Yankees, has been serving as a spring-training instructor. But Ringuet said now that Guidry’s youngest child is out of high school, he is willing to consider spending the seven or eight months away from home required by a full-time position.

    “He does have interest in this job,” Ringuet said. “If he’s ever going to do this, this is the time. If the Yankees afford him the opportunity, he’ll take a good, hard look at it.”

    Guidry’s just 55. So, it’s not like he’s a fossil. And, it’s not like he was 100% talent-gift-driven as a player. He was a thrower who was taught the slider by Sparky Lyle and then taught how to pitch by Dick Tidrow. Plus, Gator was a starter and a closer – so, he can relate to guys in the rotation as well as the pen.

    He and Donnie were teammates for a half-dozen full seasons. So, there’s someone on the staff that he knows well. (Here, I assume that Roy White is history.)

    I’d still prefer to see Joe Kerrigan get the job. But, I guess there are worse guys that could land it over Gator.

    Making Comments

    Posted by on October 23rd, 2005 · Comments (5)

    The SPAMers have been coming at WasWatching.com fast and furious lately. (Gosh, I hate those guys – almost as much as the Spyware and Adware guys.) In an effort to stop their game, registration is now required to comment at WasWatching.com.

    Sorry about this.

    If anyone has any issues with the registration process, please drop me a line, to, staff at waswatching dot com

    and, make sure your subject line in the e-mail has something in there to let me know it’s not junk mail. Thanks.

    Daisuke Matsuzaka

    Posted by on October 23rd, 2005 · Comments (1)

    From the Japan Times:

    The New York Yankees could show interest in Japanese right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka if he becomes available for a switch to the major leagues in the upcoming offseason, the New York Times reported Tuesday.

    But the daily indicated the Yankees will likely keep most of their starters and other pitchers with starting potential for the next season, leaving them with limited choices in adding new signings to their rotation.

    “If Japan’s Seibu Lions make their ace pitcher, Daisuke Matsuzaka, available to bidding by major-league teams, the Yankees could be tempted,” The New York Times said in its online edition.

    It is uncertain whether Seibu will allow Matsuzaka to pursue a career in the United States via the posting system, in which MLB teams present sealed bids for Japanese players.

    Some Japanese press reports have said the Lions want to keep the 25-year-old, who needs to use the posting system if he wants to join a major-league team before he becomes a free agent after the 2008 season.

    Matsuzaka finished the 2005 season with a 14-13 record and a 2.30 ERA. He led the Pacific League with 226 strikeouts, 15 complete games, three shutouts and 215 innings pitched.

    As a kid, this pitcher threw 250 pitches in a 17 inning game. To quote Annie Savoy, “Oh, my!”

    Kenji Jojima

    Posted by on October 23rd, 2005 · Comments (8)

    From the Japan Times:

    Softbank Hawks catcher Kenji Jojima will declare free agency after the Japan Series and is aiming for a move to the major leagues, baseball sources said Friday.

    The move would see Jojima become the first Japanese catcher to try his luck in the major leagues. Jojima was ruled out of the Pacific League playoffs after breaking his shin in September.

    The Hawks had hoped he would not declare himself a free agent and stay in Fukuoka but club representative Masashi Tsunoda, who is in charge of negotiations with the player, admitted that dissuading Jojima from leaving would be a tough task.

    “He has the desire, the dream and the right to go to the United States but we have to talk to him about it,” said Tsunoda. Jojima hit .309 with 24 homers and 57 RBIs in 116 games this season.

    Fingers are fingers. One’s a fastball. Two’s a curve. If the price is right, perhaps the Yankees should look into this one? But, be warned now, they don’t have to block the plate in Japan on tag plays. So, if that’s your Posada beef, this kid will not make that any better.

    Clemens & Contreras News

    Posted by on October 22nd, 2005 · Comments (10)

    From an AP report tonight:

    Clemens is the second-oldest pitcher to start a Series game, behind Jack Quinn, who was 46 years, 3 months, 7 days when he pitched for the 1929 Philadelphia Athletics. If Clemens wins, he’ll eclipse Dolf Luque of the New York Giants as the oldest pitcher to win a Series game. Clemens is 15 days older than Luque was when he got the win in the finale of the 1933 Series against Washington.

    Clemens and Luque share Aug. 4 as their birthday, but Luque won on Oct. 7 while Clemens will be pitching on Oct. 22.

    In another coincidence, Luque was born in Havana, also the birthplace of Contreras, who played with Clemens on the 2003 Yankees. That team made it to the World Series but lost to Florida.

    “I have to thank Roger very much because in Cuba I was throwing a two-seam fastball and he taught me how to throw a four-seam fastball,” Contreras said through a translator. “Every time I did something wrong with my mechanics, he helped he correct my errors.”

    OK, so……..

    Mo Rivera has to teach Tanyon Sturtze the cutter.

    Sheffield has to tell Leiter that he’s tipping pitches.

    Joe Kerrigan has to be brought in to fix Randy Johnson.

    And, now, we hear that Clemens had to teach Contreras to change the grip on his fastball.

    Note also that Jose said “Every time I did something wrong with my mechanics, he (Clemens) helped he correct my errors.”

    Hmmmm. Let’s see: Contreras in 2003, with Clemens as a teammate being his “helper,” actually was a productive pitcher – according to the stats. In 2004, in New York without Clemens to “correct” him, Contreras pitched so poorly that the team was happy to give him away – for just about nothing.

    Just what did Mel Stottlemyre do with the Yankees pitchers while he was in New York?

    Can You Hear Me Now?

    Posted by on October 22nd, 2005 · Comments (2)

    From an interesting Post article on Stein and Cashman (where George called Brian to ask him to stay), an item thrown in, at the closing:

    Pettitte said while he was playing golf Thursday with pal Roger Clemens, The Rocket handed him a cell phone and Torre was on the other end wishing his two former pitchers good luck in the World Series.

    Why do I think that Contreras and El Duque did not get that same call from Torre?

    The Devil’s Stick?

    Posted by on October 22nd, 2005 · Comments (2)

    From the St. Pete Times:

    The Rays are likely to meet again with former Astros general manager Gerry Hunsicker, who looks to be the top candidate for a front office position but is also in the running for the Philadelphia GM job. They are also expected to request permission to talk to Yankees executive Gene Michael.

    It will be interesting to see how Big Stein handles this request. The Devil Rays are number three on the “must beat” list for George (after the Red Sox and Mets). Would he let Michael go?

    Nah, It Must Have Been Something I Ate

    Posted by on October 22nd, 2005 · Comments (0)

    I had a dream/nightmare last night that the Yankees stalled on Hideki Matsui’s contract offer this winter, and, as a result, he went to Spring Training with the Houston Astros. It was very strange seeing him (in the dream) on ESPN in an Astros uniform.

    Pettitte on the brain, I suppose.

    New WasWatching.com Stuff

    Posted by on October 21st, 2005 · Comments (2)

    Since we were asked for a more “fun” WasWatching.com shirt design, the decision was made to do something fresh on the WasWatching.com Gear front – albeit now almost 2 months since we were asked about it. Better late than never, right?

    Thanks to WasWatching.com friend Jen for providing some inspiration on the shirt logo!

    Here’s what’s on the back of the new shirts:


    There’s a bunch of shirt styles to choose from – for both guys and girls – to see the whole lot, click here.

    If you like this blog, buying one of these shirts is the best way to support it! Thanks in advance for checking out the new gear!

    Quilt An Idea

    Posted by on October 21st, 2005 · Comments (0)

    Breaking news from the Bethel Senior Center:

    Mostly blue and white, the quilt is large enough for a king-sized bed. It features the playing field at Yankee Stadium, surrounded by bleachers filled with people and tiny athletes sliding into home and catching fly balls. All this is against a New York City skyline, replete with familiar landmarks like the Chrysler Building and the Statue of Liberty. There are fireworks overhead conveyed in various patterns of sewn metallic thread. On the bottom half are squares of fabric appliqué showing athletes making plays.

    The scene portrays the Yankees’ season-opening game against the Boston Red Sox.

    The women that quilt at the senior center started working on it in August. Roughly six months later, the quilt was finished.

    The project is an annual fund-raiser for the center. Raffle tickets are on sale for $2 through Nov. 19, when the winning ticket will be picked. Last year’s senior center quilt had a floral theme and raised $3,500.

    Raffle tickets for the “Opening Day Yankee Quilt” can be purchased by calling the Bethel Senior Center at (203) 792-3048. Tickets will also be sold at St. Mary’s Festival this weekend and at the Bethel Senior Center Craft Fair Nov. 18 and 19.

    Two dollars and a dream.

    Bowa To Coach 3rd?

    Posted by on October 21st, 2005 · Comments (15)

    From mlb.com:

    Larry Bowa has been offered the job of third base coach for the Yankees next season, the former Phillies manager told MLB.com on Thursday.

    Bowa, who has been working this season as a baseball commentator for ESPN and XM Radio, said he has had several conversations in the past two days with Yankees manager Joe Torre and general manager Brian Cashman, and he expects to speak to Cashman again this weekend.

    Bowa said he hasn’t made up his mind about whether he wants to take the position.

    “We’re still talking,” he said.

    Well, he has a ton of experience coaching third. And, he has some fire in him. He might just add something to the equation.

    But, I’m not sure of the Torre connection. When Bowa was with the Angels, Torre was already in New York. So, it’s not like they crossed there. They did play against each other for 8 years. Could that be it?

    I wonder if Tim McCarver has anything to do with this? Joe and Tim were tight from their St. Louis days. And, Timmy played with Bowa for a long time in Philly. That’s the best connection that I can think of now.

    If Bowa turns it down, would they offer it to Wally Backman next? Crazy? Hey, how many saw the Bowa offer coming?

    Leo To O’s

    Posted by on October 20th, 2005 · Comments (7)

    This move makes sense. It’s a much better fit for Mazzone. Better pitching prospects at the big league level and he has his friend Sam there. What was Leo going to do with the Johnsons and Mussinas anyway?

    I doubt that Rags takes the job. He went with the Giants in the first place because it was close to home.

    If Cashman comes back, look for Kerrigan to get the job. If not, it’s really an open game now. Torre was really tight with Bob Gibson. I wonder if he’s interested? At the least, if they get Gibson, maybe then Ortiz has to learn to move his feet in 2006.

    The Power Of Pettitte

    Posted by on October 20th, 2005 · Comments (14)

    World Series appearances by the Yankees while Andy Pettitte was on the team: 6 in 9 years.

    World Series appearances by the Yankees since Andy Pettitte left the team: 0 in 2 years.

    World Series appearances by Andy Pettitte since he left the Yankees: 1 in 2 years.

    Never mind the fact that Pettitte’s old number has found it’s way to the backs of the likes of Donovan Osborne and Alan Embree.

    Big Stein should have listened to Sweet Sensation. Never let you go.

    Calling Mr. May!

    Posted by on October 19th, 2005 · Comments (1)

    May 2006 looks to be tough for the Yankees – according to some reports on an early look at the 2006 schedule.

    8 games against Boston.
    6 games against Texas (and Buck Showalter).
    And 3 games each against the Mets and Oakland.

    Last season, the Yankees went 17-10 in May – and still had a bad (for them) overall first half record (42-39).

    It’s still not 100% clear as to who the Yankees will be playing in April 2006. Nonetheless, whatever teams they may be facing, it’s probably pretty important to get off to a good start in 2006 and have a little wiggle room with that May schedule (for next year).

    Out Here In The Fields

    Posted by on October 18th, 2005 · Comments (8)

    I spent 13 hours in the office today. On the long drive home, I started to get very tired. So, I decided to crank up the radio to keep me alert. And, on comes Baba O’Riley.

    No matter what that song may have meant to me back in my youth, today, when I hear it, I think “Winning Yankees Baseball.” I wonder how many others feel the same today about that tune?

    I See Your 2010 With A 2008

    Posted by on October 18th, 2005 · Comments (12)

    From Ken Rosenthal:

    The Yankees haven’t won the World Series since 2000 and might not win another before 2010, no matter how much money they spend, no matter how many additional mercenaries they acquire.

    They’re too old, too unathletic, too reliant on unheralded performers like pitchers Aaron Small and Shawn Chacon.

    What the Yankees need is an infusion of young talent, similar to the one they received in the mid-1990s — back in the day before owner George Steinbrenner formed the YES Network and started pursuing television stars first, baseball players second.

    From 1993 to 1997, Bernie Williams, Derek Jeter, Bob Wickman, Mo Rivera, and Andy Pettitte were the only “young” Yankees talent that strongly helped those teams. That’s five players.

    Cano and Wang are a start towards matching that five (say lining-up with Jeter and Pettitte). I like to think that someone (Henn? Clippard?) can step up become a useful member of the bullpen, like Wickman did.

    That leaves the issue of CF and closer-type RP.

    Just how far away are Brett Gardner and J. Brent Cox?

    Maybe it’s only going to be 2008 until the next ring?

    Help Me

    Posted by on October 18th, 2005 · Comments (3)

    At this moment, I cannot stop from wondering how Terry Whitfield becomes Matt Winters. (Yes, I know there’s a Marty Perez and Mike Torrez sandwiched in there.)

    Yup, I have it bad.

    Torre: A-Rod & Big Unit Too Uptight

    Posted by on October 18th, 2005 · Comments (4)

    Today, on WFAN, Joe Torre mentioned that Alex Rodriguez needs to enjoy himself more while playing. With this, I’m assuming that Joe is saying that A-Rod is too tense.

    Torre also said that Randy Johnson’s issues this year were the result of him not anticipating the “New York” factor as much as he should have this year.

    Torre said that it was not an issue of Unit being unable to handle New York (like a Whitson) – that it was more that Randy didn’t realize the level of distractions that New York can cause.

    Joe added that a “throw away line” in Arizona or Houston or Seattle dies in the air whereas in New York, it’s a headline. And, that Randy was too sensitive to this. Torre even hinted that Unit’s problem in Game 3 of the ALDS was that he was being too shy, and worrying about results, than just letting it fly.

    Somehow, without question, the Yankees need to get these guys on chill-pills next season. Anyone know where Manny cops his loosey goosey tablets?

    Georgie Being Georgie – Torre Stays

    Posted by on October 18th, 2005 · Comments (1)

    From the AP:

    NEW YORK New York Yankees’ manager Joe Torre says he’s coming back to run the team in 2006. Torre told reporters today that he met with owner George Steinbrenner yesterday and that the two agreed that Torre would return next season.

    Saying that “George is George,” Torre said he knows what the job entails and that dealing with the fiery Steinbrenner is part of the job.

    George is George.

    That’s the difference between Big Stein and Manny – General Von Steingrabber is a present tense kinda guy.

    Cash & Kerry

    Posted by on October 18th, 2005 · Comments (5)

    From the S.I. Advance:

    Wherever Cashman ends up, he is believed to be interested in hiring Joe Kerrigan as pitching coach. Cashman brought in Kerrigan — a former pitching coach with Montreal, Boston and Philadelphia and briefly the manager of the Red Sox — to help with the advance scouting over the second half of the season and gave him significant credit for the Yankees’ late surge.


    Dan Duquette

    Posted by on October 18th, 2005 · Comments (3)

    From the Post:

    As for money, Cashman could command $2.5 million a year for four years because The Boss’ list of replacements is super-model thin. The in-house leader is VP of scouting Damon Oppenheimer, who is inexperienced. Steinbrenner likes former Red Sox GM Dan Duquette but that would be a PR disaster.

    Why would Dan Duquette be a “PR disaster”? Because of the Clemens comment? Heck, you can make a case that Duquette built the foundation of that Red Sox team that won the ring. It’s possible that he has some skills that a team like the Yankees can use.

    Rockin’ & Rollin’ Leo?

    Posted by on October 17th, 2005 · Comments (19)

    From MLB.com:

    The Yankees have received permission to speak with Braves pitching coach Leo Mazzone, targeting him as their top choice to replace Mel Stottlemyre.

    Mazzone, who has been on Atlanta’s staff with manager Bobby Cox since June 1990, is considered one of the top pitching coaches in the Major Leagues, helping the Braves win 14 consecutive division titles.

    A source confirmed that the Yankees had asked for and received permission to speak with Mazzone, though it is unclear when the two sides will speak. Mazzone has one year remaining on his contract with the Braves.

    Something smells. If you ran the Braves, and had this guy for another year, why would you let him interview for a lateral move? Is there more to the gift of Mazzone than meets the eye?

    Or, is this just a game? Let them talk, see if they agree, and then demand some compensation before letting him go?

    Frank Torre Speaks

    Posted by on October 16th, 2005 · Comments (9)

    From The Post:

    [Frank] Torre noted that his brother had ended an 18-year drought when he won the first of his four World Series in 1996. “Let’s call a spade a spade,” Frank said. “George acts like the Yankees have been a winning organization for the whole time he’s been there.”

    Frank Torre believes that 2005 was his brother’s best managing job. “If push came to shove, I know my brother would much rather finish his career here,” Frank Torre said. “He knows he can manage this team better than anybody else.”

    And if not this team? “He might even manage the Red Sox, you never know,” Frank Torre said.

    When does Sister Marguerite chime in?

    Mother A-Rod Speaks On ALDS

    Posted by on October 16th, 2005 · Comments (4)

    From Fox Sports:

    Alex Rodriguez played poorly in the Yankees’ American League division series loss in part because he was saddened by the death of the uncle who raised him, the slugger’s mother said in an interview published in a local newspaper Sunday.

    Lourdes Navarro said her son kept the Sept. 30 death of his uncle to himself because he was committed to helping his team win.

    “I think he should speak with the team and tell them that his uncle, who was like his father because he raised him since he was 8, died in a hospital in Miami,” Navarro told Listin daily newspaper.

    “I know how much he suffered from the death of his uncle without being able to do anything, from listening to me crying and not being able to be there,” she said, suggesting some New York fans were being unfair to her son.

    “I would like … for the baseball fans to know that my son is a great human being, that they’re seeing a human and not a robot, that he can fail, especially when there are reasons like this,” she said.

    Navarro said Rodriquez spoke with his uncle for three hours by phone the day before he died.

    “We buried him in Santo Domingo…(Rodriguez) didn’t come because of the high sense of responsibility that Alex has for his work,” she said.

    I am sorry to hear, anytime, about someone having a loss in their family. Still, at first blush, this is a story that I wished could have remained private. Every player on that field for the ALDS had the potential to have something in their private life be a distraction. Maybe it’s not a death in the family? Maybe it’s the discovery that their wife created on them? Maybe it’s a stalker threatening their children? Maybe it’s finding out that they got V.D. from their secret girl friend? Maybe it’s the IRS coming after them?

    Do we really need to know who had personal problems that week and whether or not that impacted their baseball performance? Since when did they start counting pity parties in the boxscore?

    Plus, this disclosure from Mother A-Rod just continues to fuel those who want to talk about Alex’s bad ALDS numbers. You want to get someone to forget something, then stop talking about it. It will work, in time.

    Torre & Jeter On Winning In Post-Season

    Posted by on October 16th, 2005 · Comments (9)

    From the New York Times:

    Joe Torre didn’t say much, but he didn’t have to. After his Yankees lost Monday night’s do-or-die playoff game to the Angels, Torre repeated the oft-cited difference between his team and the one still playing.

    “That’s the thing about their ball club,” he said of the Angels. “Pitches that you may have guys who are trying to hit home runs swing and miss at, they put in play.”

    “I think the postseason is a time to think small, yes,” said Torre, who emphasized putting the ball in play rather than going for home runs. “You have to really think about fundamentals and be able to think one run at a time.”

    Jeter echoed Torre. “There’s more attention to moving guys over, getting guys in,” he said. “During the regular season, all of the home runs get the highlights. But in the postseason, people pay more attention to how each game is won and lost.”

    So, the manager knows it. And, the team captain knows it. Then, why didn’t we see it?

    2005 ALCS

    Posted by on October 16th, 2005 · Comments (16)

    With the White Sox now in control of the ALCS, I’m torn. Part of me wants to see the Angels lose – so that their organization and fans can experience what the Yankees and their fans did in the ALDS. However, another part of me thinks that it’s somewhat soothing to say that the team who knocked the Yankees out of the post-season was the best team in baseball.

    It’s win-win or lose-lose, I guess, depending on your side of the coin.

    Flash To Flushing?

    Posted by on October 14th, 2005 · Comments (10)

    Julian Garcia of the Daily News thinks it can happen.

    I say, let him go. Other than Doug Jones and The Eck, and maybe Jose Mesa, how many recent RH closers were any good at age 38?

    Brattain: A-Rod Should Shut Up Or Move

    Posted by on October 14th, 2005 · Comments (9)

    From The Hardball Times:

    I do think he needs a change of scenery. He looked like a deer in the headlights during the LDS. He’ll always be under a microscope but maybe he can find one with a less penetrating lens. Until then the less he says and the more he plays like Alex Rodriguez the better off he’ll be.

    I think Alex has too much Red Light Fever to be able to stop talking. But, maybe, if he could do it, it would help?

    Moving him is a mistake, in my opinion. He has talent – the kind that doesn’t come along that often. The post-season thing will come around. Remember Barry Bonds? He used to get killed for being a playoff choker. Then, one big World Series in 2002 shut that all down. This is what Rodriguez needs – just one post-season series where he is the man. You can live off that. Make it a World Series, and it’s even better.

    Reggie, Mr. October, hit .227 in 11 ALCS series (in 163 ABs!). No one talks about that thanks to the 1977 World Series.


    Posted by on October 14th, 2005 · Comments (7)

    From Newsday:

    The Yankees have wasted no time compiling their list of replacements for Mel Stottlemyre, targeting three of the best pitching coaches in baseball.

    Don Cooper of the Chicago White Sox, Dave Righetti of the San Francisco Giants and Leo Mazzone of the Atlanta Braves are considered the favorites, along with former Yankee Ron Guidry.

    The Yankees consider bullpen coach Neil Allen a candidate but don’t think he is ready yet. Triple-A Columbus coach Gil Patterson and Jimmy Key also are on their radar.

    Wow, zero mention of Joe Kerrigan. I’m not sure what that means? But, I would love to see Jimmy Key sneak in there. From what I’ve heard, he’s Girardi-like in terms of his smarts and the respect that he recieves from players.

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